A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

St John's College MS 114

Richard of St Victor, Allegories in the Old and New Testaments


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 1–87
Rubric: Incipit prologus magistri PETRI COMESTORIS in sequenti opere
Incipit: In precedentibus premissa descriptione originis et discrecionis artium et quorundam aliorum ortum cursum […] IN principio creauit deus celum et terram Celum significat summa terra ima
Explicit: mereatur post uictoriam coronari Quod idem dei filius nobis prestare dignetur qui cum patre [form ending] Amen
Final rubric: Expliciunt allegorie super uetus testamentum
PS.-HUGH OF ST VICTOR, Allegoriae in vetus testamentum (Stegmüller, Bibl. 3847 [3:185–6]), , ed. PL 175:633–750; the same text as RICHARD OF ST VICTOR, Exceptiones 2.1–9 (Stegmüller, Bibl. 7318 [5:104]). A contents table for book 1 comes between the prologue and the text.
2. Fols. 87–122
Rubric: Incipiunt capitula allegoriarum super nouum […]
Rubric: [fol. 88, the text] Incipit prologus sequentis operis
Incipit: Prjmj parentes humani generis per culpam primam se cum sua sobole morti […]
Rubric: [fol. 88v, the text] Incipiunt allegorie super euangelium […]
Incipit: Nvptie facte sunt in chana galilee et erat ibi ihesus cum maria matre eius Chana interpretatur zelus
Explicit: quam largitur inmutabilis et summus bonus deus conseruatur et non peribit
Final rubric: Explicit Allegorie super euangelium
PS.-HUGH OF ST VICTOR, Allegoriae novi testamenti (Stegmüller, Bibl. 3848 [3:186–9]), ending in 4.3, ed. PL 175:751–810. Books 1–4 were in fact again written by RICHARD, and books 5–8, not included here, by ROBERT OF MELUN.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: ne lucem
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (HSOS/HFFH).
Extent: Fols. i + 122 + i (numbered fol. ii).
Dimensions (leaf): 230 × 155 mm.
Dimensions (written): 165 × 99 mm.


1–28 38+1(+9) 48+1(+1) 5–98 1012 11–148 154. No catchwords; all quires signed on the last verso with a roman numeral, quires 1–14 = I–XIIII.


A piece of the leading edge cut out on fol. 46.


In long lines, 28 lines to the page. No prickings; bounded and ruled in lead and black ink.


Written in protogothic bookhand, perhaps more than a single hand. Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus.


Headings in red.

Alternating red and green arabesque capitals (a few in gold), typically 2- or 3-line at book divisions, 1-line at chapter heads.

A drawing, perhaps of a bird, in brown crayon, fol. 76 lower margin.


Dark brown leather over wood, s. xvi, with a stamped border, bearing Oldham’s roll HM.b (3) (no. 795, plate xlviii), when in isolation identifiable with the London binder ‘H.D.’ 1554 × 1576 (52).

In the centre of the board, the initials ‘RT’ (see Provenance below).

Sewn on three thongs.

Straps and clasps removed and their seatings on both upper and lower board repaired.


Gold ‘114’ at the head of the spine, in black ink on the leading edges.

Pastedowns old vellum, a College bookplate on the front pastedown.

At the front, one modern paper flyleaf; at the rear, a medieval vellum flyleaf (ii).


Origin: s. xii ex. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Roberti Tiasi liber ex donatione Nicolai Lisardi Seruienti pictoris clementissimi principis Domine Elizabethe Anglie Regine Anno redemptionis nostre 1568’, above an elaborate RT monogram (fol. 122v). Nicholas Lyzarde (d. 1571) was indeed a royal sergeant-painter under four monarchs (see the brief entry in DNB); we have been unable to identity Tias.

‘Liber Guilielmi Laud Archiepiscopi Cant et Cancellarii Vniuersitatis Oxon’ 1639’ (fol. 1, lower margin).

The old shelfmark ‘No 14’ (fol. 1, upper margin).

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna, A descriptive catalogue of the western medieval manuscripts of St. John's College, Oxford (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact St John's College Library.


    L. H. Cust, 'Lyzarde, Nicholas', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (published in print 1893; last accessed via Oxford DNB on 20 October 2021).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 175 (Paris, 1854).
    J. Basil Oldham, English Blind-Stamped Bindings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952)
    Friederich Stegmüller, Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi, 11 vols. (Madrid, 1950–80).

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust

Last Substantive Revision

2021-10: First online publication

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